Companies like XLO, Audioquest, Cardas, Tara Labs, and many more have had many problems with fake cables from China.
I have had some real loosers from China however I have had some fabulous winners from Chinese vendors. The best sub $800 power cable I have heard was an unknown brand cable with multiple ribbon and rectangular wires and I still have them in my system. I was totally screwed on a headphone cable for my HiFimans that was supposed to be solid silver and was just plated copper. What I did find is that China cables REALLY benefit from cryo treating. I worked in a NYC shop for years and was able to accumulate a lot of great cables in my stash and some of the cryoed China stuff is very good. My guess is that they do not extrude the metal with as much care as the best cables are.
There is a XLO Purple Rush listed on Audiogon right now. The seller told me he had previously contacted XLO to confirm the authenticity of his cable, but didn't get a reply. He wasn't concerned since the cable has given him outstanding performance, bettering his high-end MIT and Synergistic research cables.
A simple email to XLO resulted in an immediate reply - this cable was announced but never released to market, all Purple Rush cables are fakes - no prototypes in the wild either.
The buyer has a 100% positive feedback score totaling nearly 300, and is a member for almost 10 years.
What to make of this, and what should be done? Honest mistake or sophisticated setup? The item's been reported to Audiogon, but no action has been taken yet. If the item
I have to say I no longer will buy any used cables. Period.
Cables are just way too easy to fake.
It is a sad state of affairs, but it is the reality of Chinese knockoffs.
(Since under the skin they could be anything, just anything.)
And the old story of you get what you pay for.. applies to cables too.
I would thus guess you are a all cables sound the same camp.No no, not at all. There’s a clear audible difference between gauges, and between geometries that considerably change inductance or capacitance.
However, between cables with resistance kept at no more than 1% of the lowest impedance reached by a speaker, inductance below .2uH/ft, and capacitance below 50pF/ft, an audible difference has not been proven.
I have amassed quite a few fake cables in order to compare them to genuine real cables. In most cased they have a somewhat similar sound signature but not quite the same. While they DEFINITELY DO NOT sound the same as the real deal they give a lot of the sound of the real deal at a huge discount. Interestingly the China cables that were some off brand were not nearly as good sounding as the imitation ones in general. The closest fakes I have to the real deal are the Tara Labs which may actually be the real deal. The Siltech fakes are darker than the real G5 with a lot less detail. The AQ with DBS sound very good but different from the real deal and the Cardas Clear fake sounds fantastic but again a bit different from the real deal. The Nordost Odin fake is simply amazing! The real problem is that if you are expecting a particular sound you should expect something a little different.
If you want the real deal sound buy the real deal from a verified source. If you want to experiment then go for it.